EU imposes sanctions against former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and his son

EU member states on Thursday imposed sanctions against former pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his son Oleksandr, accused of threatening Ukraine’s security, AFP reported.

The European Council pointed out in a statement that the two were added to a list of European sanctions implemented “in response to Russia’s unjustified military aggression against Ukraine”.

Viktor Yanukovych led Ukraine from February 2010 to February 2014, when he was ousted by a popular uprising, and his government moved away from the West and closer to Moscow.

President Putin’s Russia responded to its ally’s defeat by annexing the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and a swath of territory in the east in the Donbass region. In February, Moscow launched an all-out offensive against Ukraine.

Several member states of the European Union and NATO are supplying Kiev with sophisticated weapons to help it defend itself, and Brussels has adopted a series of sanctions.

The EU believes that Viktor Yanukovych, 72, who lives in Russia, continues to play a role in “undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”. If the Russian invasion succeeds in ousting President Volodymyr Zelensky, it should try to return to power in Ukraine.

Viktor Yanukovych was part of a special Russian operation aimed at replacing President Zelensky.

“According to various sources, Viktor Yanukovych was part of a special Russian operation aimed at replacing the Ukrainian president with him in the early stages of the illegal military occupation against Ukraine,” the newspaper said.

His son was put on the sanctions list for the same reason and because “he had dealings with separatist groups in the Donbass region.”

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The 49-year-old is accused of enriching himself through connections in his father’s former regime and owning businesses and real estate in the self-proclaimed “republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, territories controlled by pro-Russian forces in the Donbass.

As sanctioned persons, Viktor Yanukovych and his son will be subject to an EU visa ban and freezing of any assets held in Union countries, AFP reported, citing Agerpres.

Author: Liviu Kojan

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